Dr. Kim’s Blog

Dr. Kim Okamura Welcome to my blog! This blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE. Happy reading!
The last thing you want to do is harm your child in any way. But with all the constantly changing recommendations for what’s best for kids’ dental health, how can you know exactly what’s the right choice, and what’s a potential misstep? One of the simplest ways to find a clear path forward is to check in regularly with your dentist. They’ll check your child’s teeth, make sure they’re developing properly, and answer any questions you might have. If you’re ever concerned about how their teeth are growing or whether their oral hygiene and diet are promoting good health, a professional will help. Reach out today with any questions! What to Know about Tooth Development How to Help Your Family Build Great Dental Health Your kids aren’t the only ones who will benefit from these tips. This is a great opportunity to get every member of your family on a healthy page. After all, ...
While Seattle summer might take a little longer to show up, it’s still on the way! With school almost out, you’re planning your family’s summer schedule and getting your kids’ activities lined up. Make sure that keeping their smiles safe is one of your priorities! Serious playground injuries have been on the rise in the last decade, and that’s a place that can be very dangerous for teeth. Of course, we need to accomplish tooth protection without smothering our kids. There’s a time and a place for mouth guards - we’re not saying that your kids should be wearing them whenever they’re outdoors. There are plenty of other ways to protect your little one’s pearly whites and still let them have some freedom. Check out our advice below, and let us know if you have any questions! As a quick reminder before the summer starts, summer is a convenient time to schedule ...
Marijuana has now been legal in Washington state for 4 ½ years. What has it changed about our oral health? That’s a question that only the dental professionals are probably asking at this point, but one that all cannabis users would benefit from. With more states following suit in legalization, it’s time for a national conversation about marijuana use’s effects on health. While many studies have examined its impact on respiratory health, memory, motor skills, and more, oral health has received less of a focus. But for those who are smoking marijuana as opposed to ingesting it, it’s important to consider the potential impact on the mouth. Marijuana and Gum Disease Risk A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that young marijuana smokers with heavy cannabis use are potentially at a higher risk of periodontal disease. Performed by New Zealand researchers, the study completed the first long-term ...
With how stressful teething can be, it’s understandable that patients turn to soothing products that will help their infant feel more comfortable. But some of these products come with a big warning label. The FDA recently released a statement about the use of a certain substance in homeopathic teething tablets and gels. The substance in question is belladona, a toxic plant that can lead to health problems for infants. The release warned both parents and healthcare providers, asking that providers make their patients aware of this risk. If you have a teething child and are hoping to navigate teething products safely, keep reading for more information. And if you’re ever unsure about what’s best for your baby’s teeth and gums, get in touch for expert guidance. Problematic Teething Tablets - What to Avoid Products containing inconsistent amounts of belladonna have been marketed by several homeopathic medication companies. The ones the FDA investigated were ...
If you’re feeling an ache in your jaw, you’re probably worried that decay has taken hold. But it’s important to remember the mouth-body connection. If you’ve been feeling congested or having facial pain, a sinus infection might be the real culprit. Understanding the source of your pain will help you find treatment for the underlying problem and get comfortable again ASAP. If you’ve been feeling achy, check out the tips below for distinguishing between sinus pain and tooth pain. Should the pain continue, check in with Dr. Okamura to make sure there isn’t a larger problem. Schedule an exam today! Why Your Sinuses Can Cause Tooth Pain The maxillary sinus is located close to your upper teeth. When this sinus experiences problems like inflammation or infection. It can place pressure on your upper teeth. If you have a cold or a flu, there’s added pressure in your head and this sometimes translates to ...
Botox is an exceptional solution for restoring youth to your face. It’s an effective, relatively safe, non-invasive medical procedure that can remove the different types of wrinkles that result in your face due to aging and extensive use of expressions. If you’re looking for a way to look as young as you feel, Botox is an excellent option. What You Need to Know About Botox Botox treatments are considered medical procedures but are quite simple and have great results. Results vary from patient to patient but are typically visible within a few days and last three to four months. While that may seem like a short time, patients have reported their Botox lasting longer, roughly six to 12 months, with consistent use. To achieve such results, it is important to continue Botox injections on a timeline suggested by your specialist. The procedure itself involves your medical professional diluting the Botox solution and applying an appropriate dosage based on ...
When we consider dental problems, worn teeth aren’t usually the first thing to come to mind. But so many of the more obvious issues (yellow teeth, sensitivity, unhealthy bite, jaw pain) actually stem from enamel wear. When teeth are worn and not at their full height, the jaws can’t operate in harmony. Vertical dimension of the occlusion is a fancy term that indicates just how tall the upper and lower teeth should be. Appropriate vertical dimension leads to a healthy bite, good tooth function, and a beautiful smile. Dr. Okamura is currently working with a patient who has experienced significant enamel loss. Through neuromuscular dentistry, we have restored his teeth to their natural height and are returning health to his smile. Check out our before and after photos, and read on to learn more about all that these changes mean for healthy teeth and daily comfort. Do you have worn teeth? Schedule ...
Are you curious about the dental implant procedure? Dental implants are a great way to restore the look and function of your mouth when you suffer multiple seriously damaged, missing or decayed teeth. Implants aren’t perfect for everyone – but they are the ideal solution for the right patients. What Are Dental Implants? Dental implants consist of two parts. First, specialized implant parts are surgically placed into the jawbone. Once the bone around the implant heals, the implant is used as a sturdy “platform” for future restorative placement. How Do Dental Implants Work? When dentists refer to dental implants, they are addressing the specialized “screw” and additional parts. These are typically fabricated from titanium which has the special property of being osteophilic – it merges effectively with bone—the bone, in turn, does not “reject” the material, making them the strongest option for anchoring the restorative crown. How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take? The implant placement ...
Feel like you need to constantly wet your whistle? Drinking water is always a positive thing, but when you’re constantly grabbing your water bottle because your mouth feels dry, that’s a warning sign. Dry mouth, professionally known as xerostomia, is a serious dental problem with big associated health risks. If you’re suffering from dry mouth, getting treatment will not only protect your teeth and gums from harm but get you feeling comfortable again. Certain individuals are more likely to experience dry mouth. If you’re on the high risk list, it’s a good idea to be extra vigilant and always check in with your dentist on schedule. Below, we’ve compiled information on common dry mouth symptoms, risk factors and home care options. If you think your mouth is feeling dry, don’t hesitate to get in touch for help. Xerostomia Health Risks Dry mouth might not seem serious on its own, but considering the larger ...
Of the many changes that have come with the new presidential administration, environmental regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency are some of the most sweeping. Because all new or pending EPA regulations have been frozen, dental offices in the US are feeling the effects. The specific rule that has affected dentists is one that requires offices to install amalgam separators - the Mercury Effluent Rule. This rule required that dental offices install amalgam separators by 2019. Finalized in December but not yet published, offices are suddenly no longer required to comply. Wondering what an amalgam separator is and what it could possibly have to do with you? Read on to learn more about what this regulation (or lack thereof) is likely to do to the environment and its inhabitants. Importance of Amalgam Separators Amalgam is one type of material used in fillings (as opposed to resin-based composite, another common option). Amalgam contains mercury ...